Persecution and social histories: Towards an Adornian critique of Levinas

Philosophy and Social Criticism 36 (6):719-733 (2010)
The respective philosophies of Emmanuel Levinas and Theodor Adorno share a concern with articulating a critique of Husserlian phenomenology which would do justice to the materiality of the subject. With this commonality in mind, it is argued that Levinas reifies this materiality by endowing it with a metaphysical priority expressive of ethical universality. In contrast, Adorno eschews the philosophical obsession with the assertion of metaphysical priority, insisting on the complexly historical nature of material life. In place of the Levinasian concern with the subject’s forgetting of her or his ethical responsibilities to ‘the Other’, Adorno’s notion of the primacy of the object helps to articulate the ways in which the subject is always already materially bound by singular social histories which are essentially exclusionary. Amelioration of our suffering would thus depend on a concrete break in material social life, rather than on an abstractly conceived revelation of transcendence
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    11 ( #112,987 of 1,088,810 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,666 of 1,088,810 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.